Category Archives: Links

CIRCLE — All Together Now: Collaboration and Innovation for Youth Engagement An Open Online Seminar

All Together Now:  Collaboration and Innovation for Youth Engagement

An Open Online Seminar

From CIRCLE, (click on to learn more, including about tools, and who’s participating)

Excited by improving and creating new learning opportunities that will increase youth engagement?  Want to share your passion with a diverse group of learners?

Join CIRCLE for a FREE 5-week open, online seminar that will extend research and recommendations from the recent report All Together Now:  Collaboration and Innovation for Youth Engagement.  Bring your ideas and vision to the table and create plans for your own community.

Starts week of January 13th

More information is below OR you can contact us at OR

Since the release of the report All Together Now:  Collaboration and Innovation for Youth Engagement, CIRCLE has been in conversation with a wide range of stakeholders  interested in and committed to improving the civic and political engagement opportunities and outcomes for ALL youth in the United States.   This FREE and open online seminar is an effort to reach out and engage individuals and groups interested in extending the conversation about that state of youth engagement and future strategies to improve it.   The seminar welcomes young people, parents, educators, policymakers, youth advocates, researchers and others to join this five-week learning community.  The seminar is also designed to allow for multiple levels of participant and will have synchronous and asynchronous elements to accommodate those who need flexibility.


  • Introduce participants to the key findings and recommendations of the report as a means to ground our conversations in the research and provide an opportunity for participants to exchange additional information about what they have seen on the ground.
  • Engage a diverse set of participants in thinking and dialogue around the report that would not be possible in more geographically- or strategy-bound environments
  • Provide a platform for advocates, those working in the fields of civic learning and engagement, researchers, commissioners and CIRCLE staff to write, reflect and share their thinking and response to the report
  • Create an environment and structure that would prompt participants to adjust, design or propose strategies, actions, programming or activities that could extend the report into real world environments.


  • A better and deeper understanding of the research behind the report
  • How the research and recommendations of the report can be applied to participants’ practice
  • New ideas for actions and activities to support the recommendations in the report
  • Extended thinking about challenges, opportunities and recommendations in the report as well as provide additional information and ideas to supplement it
  • Information and experience exchange between groups committed to improved civic learning and engagement of youth
  • Researchers connect to work in the field and practitioners think about elements that they could use to evaluate the work
  • Creation of materials (in any format) that can be shared online (digital artifacts) for the benefit of a broader audience


  • Getting Prepared: Register, read the report, introduce yourself (via Facebook Group) and engage with our warm up activities
  • Session 1:   Orientation to the Seminar / Introduction to the Report (week of January 13th)
  • Session 2:  What is the state of youth civic learning and engagement?  (week of January 20th)
  • Session 3:  What works and how would you apply these to your practice? (week of January 27th)
  • Session 4:  How does this all work together?  (week of February 3rd)
  • Session 5:   What have we learned together? (week of February 10th)

Join the National Conversation About Mental Health

The American Library Association Center for Civic Life is a partner in this effort announced by the White House to launch a national conversation titled: Creating Community Solutions.  We urge libraries across the country to participate.  Some are already on board.

The Creating Community Solutions site includes a map where you can locate local initiatives.  You can also find people who can lead the discussion in your community.  A dialogue guide will be available soon.  Be sure to sign up as a participant if you plan to host a conversation locally or participate in an online dialogue.  For more information, see the Creating Community Solutions web site at:  Attached is an FAQ about the initiative.

FAQs on Creating Community Solutions – final

Librarian Working with the Harwood Institute Helps Newtown Residents Determine the Future for the Sandy Hook School

Richard Harwood of the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation recently worked with the people of Newtown, CT, to determine the future for their Sandy Hook Elementary School–click here for more information.  Joining him was librarian, Carlton Sears, who posted about his lessons from the experience on his blog.  Below is the first paragraph of that posting by Carlton Sears.  Click on the headline to see the full text.  

Moving forward in Newtown – a lesson for us all by Carlton Sears

When I learned I would be working with Rich Harwood in Newtown, I was stunned, humbled and concerned.  Would I have the thoughtfulness, sensitivity and insight for whatever was in store?   The task was daunting, the responsibility heavy:  to help a traumatized community move forward on the future of the Sandy Hook School….more


Posted by Nancy Kranich

The Fate of Civic Education in a Connected World–Harvard Berkman Center Webinar

[December 5] The Fate of Civic Education in a Connected World
Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University

A “Fred Friendly” Seminar

Monday, December 5, 6:00 pm
Austin East Classroom, Austin Hall, Harvard Law School
Free and Open to the Public; RSVP required for those attending in person via the form below

Featuring Professor Charles Nesson as Provocateur and Ellen Condliffe Lagemann (Bard College), Peter Levine (Tufts University), Harry Lewis (Harvard SEAS), Elizabeth Lynn (Project on Civic Reflection) and Juan Carlos de Martin (Berkman Center) as participants.

Civic education is the cultivation of knowledge and traits that sustain democratic self-governance. The broad agreement that civic education is important disintegrates under close scrutiny. As the social networks of individuals become less based on geography and more based on friendships and common interests, consensus on shared civic values seems harder to achieve. American education is under stress at every level, and schools and colleges must re-imagine their commitment to civic education. This seminar will probe tensions that make civic education difficult, for example:

* What’s the problem? Doesn’t everyone agree that civic education is important? Is civic education being squeezed out in schools, either because of the demands of subject testing or the desire to avoid political controversy?
* Does the connectedness of social media support or impair the sorts of connections that lead to active citizenship?
* Every tertiary institution wants to be a “global university.” What, if any, are the civic responsibilities of a global institution? What civic values are transnational? Should American students learn the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?
* What about civic education outside of school–for adults, prisoners, and the home-schooled, for example?
* Then there was model UN; now there are online simulations. Do they achieve the same ends?
* Does civic education include instruction in civic activism, using social media for example?
* With connectedness come instantaneity and constant interruptions. Is it even possible to maintain anyone’s attention on understanding anything as subtle as the complexities of representative government?

This lively, “Fred Friendly” style seminar is timed to coincide with publication of two edited volumes: Teaching America: The Case for Civic Education (David Feith, ed.; Rowman & Littlefield), and What is College For?: The Public Purpose of Higher Education (Ellen Condliffe Lagemann and Harry Lewis, eds.)

Most Berkman events are webcast live here: